If you’re looking to gain muscle mass and pack on size, a well-designed mass building program is essential. With so many different workout plans out there, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the best 12 week mass building workouts. These programs have been designed to maximize muscle growth and give you the gains you’re looking for. So let’s dive in and find the perfect plan for you.

The Classic Mass Builder

This 12 week program is a classic mass building workout that has been used by bodybuilders for decades. It consists of heavy compound lifts, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, to stimulate maximum muscle growth. This program is great for beginners or anyone looking to build a solid foundation of muscle mass.

The Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower (PHUL) Program

The PHUL program is a 4-day split that focuses on both power and hypertrophy training. It combines heavy lifting with volume work to help you build strength and size. This program is ideal for intermediate lifters who are looking to make significant gains in both strength and muscle mass.

The 5×5 Stronglifts Program

The 5×5 Stronglifts program is a simple but effective mass building program that has helped thousands of lifters gain muscle and strength. It consists of five compound lifts (squat, bench press, deadlift, overhead press, and barbell row) performed for five sets of five reps each. This program is great for beginners who are just starting out and want to build a solid foundation of strength and mass.

The German Volume Training (GVT) Program

The GVT program is a high-volume, high-intensity program that is designed to shock your muscles into growth. It consists of 10 sets of 10 reps for each exercise, with a focus on compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. This program is ideal for advanced lifters who are looking to take their gains to the next level.

The Push, Pull, Legs (PPL) Program

The PPL program is a 6-day split that focuses on pushing movements (chest, shoulders, triceps), pulling movements (back, biceps), and leg training. It’s a great program for anyone looking to build a balanced physique and gain muscle mass all over.

The Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST) Program

The HST program is a science-based program that focuses on hypertrophy (muscle growth) through progressive overload. It consists of 2-week cycles of high-volume and low-volume training, with an emphasis on compound lifts and isolation exercises. This program is ideal for anyone looking to build muscle mass quickly and efficiently.

The 5/3/1 Program

The 5/3/1 program is a powerlifting-based program that can also be used for mass building. It focuses on four compound lifts (squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press) and incorporates progressive overload to help you build muscle and strength. This program is great for intermediate and advanced lifters who want to make significant gains in strength and size.

The Westside Barbell Conjugate Method

The Westside Barbell Conjugate Method is a highly advanced training program that is used by powerlifters and bodybuilders alike. It focuses on developing maximal strength and explosive power through a variety of specialized exercises, such as box squats, board presses, and speed work.

Barbell Row

The barbell row is another classic compound exercise that targets the back muscles, specifically the lats, traps, and rhomboids. To perform the barbell row, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and a barbell on the ground in front of you. Bend forward at the hips, keeping your back straight, and grab the bar with an overhand grip. From here, pull the bar towards your stomach, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement. Lower the bar back down to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps.


Last but not least, pull-ups are an excellent bodyweight exercise that can help you build mass in your back, shoulders, and arms. To perform pull-ups, start by grabbing a pull-up bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. From here, pull yourself up towards the bar, using your back and arm muscles to lift your body weight. Lower yourself back down to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps.

In addition to the exercises listed above, there are several other strategies you can use to maximize your muscle gains during a 12-week mass building program. Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind:

  1. Focus on progressive overload

Progressive overload is the principle of gradually increasing the amount of weight or resistance you use in your workouts over time. By continually challenging your muscles with heavier loads, you can stimulate muscle growth and avoid plateauing in your progress. Aim to gradually increase the weight you’re using by 5-10% each week, or by adding an extra set or rep to each exercise.

  1. Use a variety of rep ranges

While heavy lifting is important for building strength and size, incorporating lighter weights and higher rep ranges can also be beneficial for muscle growth. Aim to use a variety of rep ranges in your workouts, ranging from 6-8 reps for heavy compound exercises, to 10-12 reps for accessory movements, and even higher reps (15-20) for certain isolation exercises.

  1. Get enough rest and recovery

Muscle growth occurs during periods of rest and recovery, not during your actual workouts. It’s important to give your muscles time to recover between workouts, so they can repair and grow stronger. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and take rest days or active recovery days as needed to avoid overtraining.

  1. Fuel your body with proper nutrition

In addition to exercise, proper nutrition is key to supporting muscle growth during a 12-week mass building program. Aim to consume a diet that’s high in protein (at least 1 gram per pound of body weight), along with plenty of complex carbs, healthy fats, and fiber. Consider using supplements like whey protein, creatine, and beta-alanine to support your muscle-building goals.

  1. Consistency is key

Finally, it’s important to stay consistent with your training and nutrition plan in order to see results. Commit to following your program for the full 12 weeks, and stay dedicated to your goals even when progress seems slow. Remember, building muscle takes time and patience, but the results are well worth the effort.


If you’re looking to build muscle mass in 12 weeks, it’s important to focus on compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once. The 12-week mass building workout outlined in this article includes a variety of compound exercises targeting the major muscle groups, along with a focus on progressive overload and proper nutrition to support muscle growth. As always, be sure to consult with a qualified fitness professional before starting any new workout program, and listen to your body to avoid injury and overtraining. With dedication and hard work, you can achieve significant gains in muscle mass in just 12 weeks. Good luck on your mass building journey!


  1. Schoenfeld, B. J. (2010). The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24(10), 2857-2872. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181e840f3
  2. American Council on Exercise. (2018). Build muscle with this 12-week strength training workout. Retrieved from https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/7037/build-muscle-with-this-12-week-strength-training-workout/
  3. GAINZ4LIFE. (2021). 12-week mass building program. Retrieved from https://www.gainz4life.com/12-week-mass-building-program/
  4. Men’s Fitness. (n.d.). The ultimate 12-week workout plan for packing on size. Retrieved from https://www.mensfitness.com/training/workout-routines/ultimate-12-week-workout-plan
  5. Muscle & Strength. (2021). 12-week mass & strength program. Retrieved from https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/12-week-mass-strength-program
  6. Bodybuilding.com. (n.d.). 12-week muscle-building workout plan. Retrieved from https://www.bodybuilding.com/workout-plans/about/12-week-muscle-building-workout-plan

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